From past one month my brain and heart have been home to lots of thoughts and emotions. Through this blog I wanted to reflect on one particular subject which I sensed during this period. But whenever I close my eyes and think about last few days, a slide show of events begins.
It starts with the excitement of working with my host organization Yuva Parivartan (YP). I liked that our head office at Mumbai is known as Parishramalay and its tiled roof top and precious space at the gate gave me the feeling of home. YP works for skill development of school drop outs and deprived students. My role in the organization includes interaction with students and community. As a part of my induction I had to visit our centers at Alibaug and Wada (villages near Mumbai). These are the best places to visit in rainy season. All the lands and mountains were green; rice plantation was in the process and cold breeze was flowing throughout the journey. I never knew in by 4 years of living in the same city that we have such great places nearby.
I don’t know it’s a halt or destination but from 21 days I am living in Nagpur with a sindhi family. I am a person who takes a lot of time to jell with people so talking to strangers always been a herculean task for me. But now I have to communicate with lots of people every day and after my introduction with them I usually end up telling them about India Fellows and why I left my corporate job. During my job, most things were spoon fed to me but here I have to work on my own. It was my decisions to take 60kms ride to an unknown village or board a MSRTC bus to conduct a community meeting in Katol (a village near Nagpur) to start skill development centers at their doorstep. Stage fear always been one of my enemy but now I have to address 40-50 people in community meetings. Community meetings are not pre planned Q&A sessions in our classroom to make an impression on our professors. People can ask you any type of question and you have to answer them.
It was very simple to learn about conflict management during the induction but its implementation in real conflict was very difficult. I will write about this in detail some other day. This month was full of ups and downs, surprises and a little uncertainty but through this you get to learn lot of about yourself. I met one of the co-fellows and shared all the experiences, joys and sorrows. It was refreshing and good to know that I am not alone who is going through these situations. Mean while at home, I was trying to understand sindhi, having the best homemade food in the world (koki and sindhi curry) and learning how to make a coconut chikki with the help of my new dadi.
I never had such experiences or travelled like this before. Sometimes I was confused, physically and mentally tired but it is worthy because of the happiness and satisfaction it brought to me.